Brand Management CW1

Read the guide carefully, there is one example of the assessment attached.

Summative Assessment 1 – Coursework 1 (50%)

Deadline Week 11 (29th November 2021) Brand Creation Report

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Create and justify the brand identity for a sub-brand sitting within the hierarchy of your chosen corporate or family brand.

Write a BUSINESS REPORT of approximately 2,000 words (effectively using the appendices, to support your report)

You may choose from one of the three brands below:


Skull Candy Headphones

Absolut Vodka


Brand Audit

Comprehensive Brand audit illustrating current brand position

Target audience identified

Current Brand Elements identified

Market analysis

Market Gaps identified

Overall conclusion as to strength of the brand


Use of theory to support your analysis

Appropriate level of theory including brand models, academic thought to underpin both the brand audit and the sub brand development.

Brand building models (Keller/Kapferer) Brand Architecture

Brand elements and their requirements Colour, font theory



Development of a Sub-Brand which will sit within the existing Portfolio

Creation of a sub-brand sitting under the master / family brand including development of new brand elements

· Development of sub brand idea including target audience

· Changes to existing brand elements to communicate new image / personality etc and justification of new elements

· Discussion and justification of the new sub-brand’s role in the overall portfolio

Use of Data to underpin your Decision Making

Appropriate Data used in both the brand audit and the development of the sub brand to support your conclusions and justify your sub-brand decision

· Market, consumer, company and competitive data used appropriately

· Detailed analysis of the data to justify your sub- brand strategy



The presentation marks will be awarded for discursive ability, layout and referencing

You must submit in a BUSINESS REPORT format




16116) London South Bank University

Brand Management (BBM_6_G)

Module Leader: Nicola Hayes

Assignment: Brand Creation Report (2000 words)

Submission Date: December 8th, 2020

Executive summary

This report investigates the current brand personality, brand elements, and brand health of Gordon’s, revealing the brand’s personality to be very competent and sophisticated and its positioning as very British and traditional. Gordon’s has managed to reach a 93% brand awareness and attracted 55% gin drinkers to try out its flagship product at least once in the past year. However, the brand’s accessibility and inclusivity have led to it being perceived as a usual drink and nothing special.

A brand extension introduced at the end of this report aims to address this issue with its exclusive and premium positioning and limited availability of the product.

The brand also seeks to capitalise on the market gaps in the gin and white spirits category, particularly the quiet season for gins in winter and a demand for more premium, natural, and unique flavours.


1. Introduction

2. Gordon’s Brand Audit

2.1 Target audience

2.2 Brand Personality and Values

2.3 Current Brand Elements

2.4 Market analysis and Market Gaps

2.5 Brand Health and SWOT

3. Gordon’s Moments

3.1 Rationale and Role in Portfolio

3.2 Gordon’s Moments Brand Elements

4. Conclusion

5. Appendix

6. Reference List

1. Introduction

The purpose of this report is to lay out the current situation of the brand Gordon’s, examine its target audience, brand elements and overall brand health. An analysis of the market that Gordon’s operates in will also be provided.

Following the initial brand audit will be the introduction of a potential new sub-brand to be added to Gordon’s brand portfolio, complete with the sub-brand’s new brand elements and an explanation of the role it will play in the portfolio.

2. Gordon’s Brand Audit

Gordon’s is a leading British brand of gin (Mintel, 2020) and the world’s favourite brand, with 6 bottles being sold every second, and Gordon’s gin and tonic premixes being the largest in Europe (Diageo, 2020). It has been rated as the best-selling brand of gin by The Spirit Business (Carrunthers, 2020) for five consecutive years as of time of writing, experiencing a significant growth spike of 15.9% in 2018/19, particularly thanks to its launch of the pink gin variant.

Gordon’s product portfolio is composed of the following products (Gordon’s, 2020):

· Gordon’s London dry gin (original + 3 variants)

· Gin & Tonic premix (2 variants)

· Gordon’s Ultra Low (2 variants)

2.1 Target Audience

About 80% of all adults in the UK drink alcohol (Drinkaware, 2019), proving an enormous number of potential targets. Some important sets of people to target when building a successful gin brand are not only the consumers, but also various retailers dealing both in on-trade and off-trade environments. (Atomik Research, 2018).

Atomik Research (2018) revealed that many drinkers over 45 prefer gin to any other spirit, and before their rebranding, Gordon’s most loyal consumers were those around the 40-50 bracket (WARC, 2020). However, according to Mintel (2020), white spirits and gin are mostly drunk by 16-34-year olds, which also extends to Gordon’s products.

While the lockdown has significantly affected the on-trade volume sales of many white spirits, gin has been usually consumed at home even pre-lockdown (Mintel, 2020). According to Passport (2020), 94.3% of all white spirit purchases occur in store-based retailing. This would suggest that people who prefer to drink at home make up a sizable part of Gordon’s target audience.

Those with higher income are also more likely to drunk Gordon’s gin, however when compared to other brands, the difference between those on lower and higher incomes is far smaller, which would suggest that Gordon’s has successfully positioned itself as a highly inclusive brand (Mintel, 2020).

2.2 Brand personality and values

Keller and Swaminathan (2019) speak of brand personality as something brands take on through customer experiences and marketing activity. They also define brand personality somewhere on the spectrum of five main dimensions: Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication and Ruggedness. Most brands include all the dimensions to varying degrees.

Gordon’s is highly seen as traditional, but also very accessible by consumers, which has enabled the brand to reach a wide user demographic compared to other spirit brands (Mintel, 2020). To see the full positioning charts, please see Appendix 2.

The focus on the reliable old recipe, tradition, longevity, and popularity of the brand are the brand’s main values. The brand’s messaging about drinking focuses more on the relaxing and fun attributes of drinking (alone or in a social setting), rather than on wild exciting experiences one could have when inebriated. This can be seen particularly in the brand’s ‘Shall we?’ advertisements (YouTube, 2020), as well as the company’s website (Gordon’s, 2020), which has a section dedicated to responsible drinking.

It can thus be deduced that Gordon’s most prominent personality traits are Competence and Sophistication.

2.3 Current Brand Elements

Brand elements are trademarkable devices that help identify or differentiate the brand, such as logos, names, colours, jingles, etc.

(Keller and Swaminathan, 2019)


Colours can be a powerful marketing tool if managed strategically (Funk and Ndubisi, 2006), evocating a series of associations that help consumers understand the positioning of the brand (Bottomley and Doyle, 2006). Generally, there are six criteria for brand elements: memorability, meaningfulness, likability, transferability, adaptability and protectability (Keller and Swaminathan, 2019).

The following are the most important elements of the Gordon’s brand with some example images.

The name Gordon’s

· Founder’s name (Alexander Gordon), as well as the Scottish Clan Gordon which ties in with the boar, another important element

· Unique and recognisable

· Carries the meaning of tradition, experience, class, and maturity in its iconography

· Transferable (no translation issues)

· Adaptable – ‘gin’ is technically not part of the name

· Registered trademark protects from imitation

· (Gordon’s, 2020)

The Boar

· Present on all packaging, adding to memorability

· Tied to a legend of the Gordon Clan saving the King of Scotland from a wild boar, adding to meaningfulness and likability

· Serves as a mark of quality and heritage and helps the brand stand out from the crowd (WARC, 2020)

· (Gordon’s, 2020)

Bottle design

· Award winning bottle

· Dark green colour on the original gin and the vine patterns on the glass accentuate the natural and traditional recipe

· Positioning Gordon’s as the top selling gin brand (Design Week, 2016)

· The vines shaped into a heart encircling the ‘ESTD. London 1769’ bring together the refreshing taste of the product and it being ‘the heart of a good cocktail’, as well as people’s lasting fondness of the brand (WARC, 2020)

· Used for all their products (except ultra-low alcohol variants and Gin and Tonic cans) – adding to memorability

· (Gordon’s, 2020)


· Limited colour scheme on packaging, usually using black, white, and silver and only adding accent colour for the colourful gin variants

· Website and most recent promotional material use more colour, mostly green, yellow, and light blue to denote freshness and lightness of the product

· Green: most prominent in the original product and on the website, symbolising freshness, and nature, but also tradition, heritage and trustworthiness (Lawes, 2008)

· Black: symbolizes power, knowledge

· White: excellent contrast to black, could be seen to show purity and quality of the product (Funk and Ndubisi, 2006)

· Yellow: used only on the website for accents, shows a little bit of fun and playfulness, but also freshness and summertime (Lawes, 2008)

· Light blue: the chosen background colour for most of Gordon’s promotional material, connection to water, summer, calmness, and a refreshing feeling (Lawes, 2008)

· (Gordon’s, 2020)

2.4 Market Analysis and Market Gaps

White spirits are the most popular category of spirits in the UK, followed by whiskeys (Passport, 2020). The total UK white spirits and RTD market was estimated at £7.9 billion in 2019, having grown by 40.9% over 2014-2019 (Mitel, 2020). This growth was driven by innovations, experimentation and premiumisation (Passport, 2020) as well as the consistent volume growth, particularly in the gin category, which has been growing at record speed over the last 5 years in both value and volume sales. This growth has slowed in 2019 and has been declining since (Mintel, 2020).

Gordon’s has the third highest brand market share at 4.1%, with Smirnoff Red at 6.1% and Tesco at 4.5% before it (Passport, 2020).

The most important factors to consider are:

· the changing habits of consumers due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Mintel, 2020)

· the tendency to consume gin and RTDs at home, rather than on trade (Passport, 2020)

· that many consumers mix gin with another drink to make it more palatable (Mintel, 2020)

· the continued trend of adults limiting their alcohol intake (Passport, 2020) (Mintel, 2020)

· the rising demand for new flavours of gins and RTDs, particularly more premium, traditional, and natural flavour made with unique and locally sourced ingredients (Passport, 2020) (Mintel, 2020)

· the lull during winter, as gin is mostly drunk during the summer (Mintel, 2020)

The full information upon which this list was compiled is in Appendix 1.

Gordon’s already has a selection of various flavoured varieties, RTDs, and low alcoholic drinks. Some interesting openings lie in the seasonality of the product, as well as a focus on exclusivity and premium taste from natural ingredients, following a traditional recipe.

2.5 Brand Health and SWOT

Gordon’s is the world’s favourite gin (Diageo, 2020) and the most widely consumed brand, reaching a 93% brand awareness this year (Mintel, 2020).

The brand is highly viewed as traditional and consumers are very responsive to Gordon’s British positioning, however only 11% of its consumers regard it as special, seeing it more as an everyday option, and only 36% view the brand as diverse, the lowest of the leading brands (Mintel, 2020).

Bellow is a SWOT of the brand’s current situation in the market.


· High brand awareness

· Accessible/everyday

· Traditional

· British


· Interchangeable

· Not very diverse

· Not very special


· New innovative variants to increase diversity

· Expanding the brand portfolio to include something for special occasions


· Could become seen as boring and close minded

· Because of Gordon’s success in RTD’s, other brands are joining the competition

Gordon’s upped their spending on marketing their core dry gin significantly in 2019, focusing on tradition and heritage and promoting new occasions for drinking with its ‘Shall we’ campaign, which no doubt promoted the brand’s growth in both flavoured gins and RTDs. G&T mixers, particularly the pink variant, have fuelled 35.3% growth in value sales, reflecting the popularity of the original pink gin variant and granting the brand a 19% market share (Mintel, 2020).

Based on the success of a new product associated with the Gordon’s brand, it could be assumed that the brand has a strong brand equity.

Customer-Based Brand Equity is formally defined as the differential effect that brand knowledge has on a customer’s response to the brand’s marketing. The concept attributes strength of a brand to the customer’s experiences, feelings, opinions, beliefs, etc. It is important for marketers to shape the way their customers think and feel about a brand, and ensure their perceptions and experiences are positive. If a brand has a strong brand equity, customers will be more likely to buy a product identified with the brand (Keller and Swaminathan, 2019).

Keller (2019) introduced a CBBE model, which helps illustrate the journey of customers’ relationship to the brand. To see the full CBBE model as applied to Gordon’s, please refer to Appendix 3.

3. Gordon’s Moments introduction

The new sub-brand added to Gordon’s portfolio will operate under the name Gordon’s Moments, retaining the parent brand name and much of its personality and elements. The brand aims to enhance the image of the parent brand and increase market coverage by retaining the brand’s strong tradition and heritage associations, but adding innovation and exclusivity, which the brand is currently missing.

Gordon’s Moments will be a brand of exclusive, time-limited, flavoured gins, targeting mostly drinking adults over 35, with a higher income and a passion for alcoholic beverages. The product is to be sold primarily in the winter. The quantity of produced bottles can be reduced as necessary, as the gin is to be produced from unique and natural ingredients sourced from within the UK.

3.1 rationale and role in portfolio

Brand architecture provides general guidelines about a firm’s branding strategy and which brand elements to apply across all is different products. Sub-brands are usually created as a way to reach new target markets. They are typically visibly related to the main brand, but distinct themselves with different colours or logos (Keller, 2019).

Gordon’s original dry gin in its signature green bottle is the flagship product, with its colourful variants. The canned RTDs Gordon’s is mostly enjoyed by women and more on-the-go customers (Mintel, 2020). The Ultra-Low G&Ts are targeting a different audience thanks to their low-alcohol nature.

The Gordon’s brand positions itself as premium, but it is widely seen as an accessible, everyday option, rather than something for a special occasion (Mintel, 2020). Gordon’s Moments intends to fill this gap with its exclusivity, the limited availability of the product and its unique qualities.

The market opportunities Gordon’s Moments is designed to capitalise on are the demand for traditional, yet exclusive and premium gin with exciting new natural flavours, with a focus on a traditional recipe and local natural ingredients (Mintel, 2020).

As gin is typically drunk in the warmer seasons (Mintel, 2020), Gordon’s Moments seeks to break the lull of winter with its traditionally winter spices in a gin bottle fit for a Christmas party or any other special occasion.

To see the full brand architecture map, please refer to Appendix 4.

3.2 Gordon’s Moments Brand Elements

Gordon’s Moments will retain some of the parent brand’s most prominent and evocative brand elements, such as the Gordon’s name and the Boar, as they are the most memorable, meaningful, and transferrable available elements.

As with other brands on Gordon’s portfolio, the bottle design is an excellent way to differentiate the new brand. When selecting the bottle shape, it is important to consider its design as well as practicality (, 2017). Spirit packaging designs extend beyond the bottle, from the box the bottle may be enclosed in, to the bottle cap (Carruthers, 2019).

The Gordon’s Moments packaging should include an outer box with a pattern resembling a grandfather clock, adding to the brand’s messaging of heritage and experience, but also the time limited availability of the product, increasing the brand’s meaningfulness and likability.

The number and quality of botanicals used in the product’s making can be shown through imprints on the glass or an illustration on the front label. The bottle shape should also differ from the original bottle to add to the brand’s memorability, meaningfulness, and likability.

The colours used should be mainly red, gold, and black.

Black is to be the dominant colour, preferably the colour of the bottle as well. Black signifies status, elegance, sophistication, glamour (Labrecque and Milne, 2012), and high quality (Bottomley and Doyle, 2006).

Red is generally appropriate for logos and brands promoting a sensory-social image (Bottomley and Doyle, 2006), which Gordon’s Moments is. The red colour also communicates success and a strong heritage of being the leader (Lawes, 2008), as well as love (Bottomley and Doyle, 2006). Certain colour combinations have certain meanings, such as holidays (Labrecque and Milne, 2012), and gold, green and red are very important Christmas colours. Green should, however, not be used, as not to designate Gordon’s Moments as a purely Christmas product and to maintain distance from the original brand.

Gold symbolises wealth, prestige, innovation, and success (Olsen, 2020), however overuse of it may signal overconfidence or arrogance. It is therefore to be used sparingly.

4. Conclusion

This report has discovered gaps in the market and opportunities for Gordon’s to expand its brand portfolio in a meaningful way, satisfying a demand for new flavours and premium gins, and reaching a new target audience.

It also revealed the brand’s perception as an everyday option, rather than something special. Gordon’s Moments is sure to further strengthen Gordon’s traditional position, as well as help establish a more premium and exclusive position.

5. Appendices

Appendix 1 – Market research and market gaps

It is important to consider the impact of the pandemic on the way people purchase and consume alcohol. While the entire spirit category took a hit due to the pandemic (especially in on-trade sales), gin has managed to survive the year seemingly unaffected. The gin category has continued to grow as more expensive drinks like cognac are being traded for more affordable alternatives, and cheaper drinks like tequila are seeing a decline as they are usually consumed on trade. Off-trade sales have increased substantially as 94.3% of purchases of white spirits occur in store-based retailing (Passport, 2020). Most people who consume gin tend to drink it at home and tend to consume it mixed with something else (Mintel, 2020). Things like shelf placement, bottle design and what information is on the label are therefore worth considering when managing the communications and branding.

One of the most important factors for consumers is flavour, as the demand for new flavours of both gins and RTDs are on the rise. One of the main drivers for the growth of gin and Gordon’s as well is the boom of flavoured gin, as many brands increase their portfolios with new exciting, flavoured variants in various ‘instagrammable’ colours, which makes them particularly popular with Gen Z and Millennials (Passport, 2020), feeding further into the fact that younger people consume the category far more than older generations (Mintel, 2020).

Flavour also plays an important part in RTDs, with an interest among consumers for more interesting flavours, but with 50% of consumers saying they find them too sweet (Mintel, 2020).

74% of white spirit drinkers say they have tried a flavoured variety in the past year. Particularly, there appears to be a market for more premium flavours, with about a quarter of consumers showing interest in a more complex flavour profile, unique and local ingredients, or a historical recipe. Interest in locally sourced ingredients should also be tied with a concurrent interest in handmade varieties of white spirits or those produced in small batches, lending the product more exclusivity. This interest in natural ingredients goes hand in hand with 48% of consumers being concerned about artificial ingredients, which prevents them from drinking white spirits and RTDs more often (Mintel, 2020).

The trend of non/low alcohol spirits and RTDs and ethical brands for sustainable consumers has been present in the market for years and is still on the rise (Passport, 2020). Alcohol content continues to bar potential customers from consuming RTDs and gins, as 33% of adults are reducing or limiting alcohol intake (Mintel, 2020).

Summer is the most popular time to consume white spirits and/or RTDs, according to two thirds drinkers. This is due to the established flavour combination often complementing the seasonality with sweet, fruity ingredients. New, warmer, and spicier flavours could be offered during the lull in winter (Mintel, 2020).

Appendix 2 – Positioning maps of gin brands according to Mintel (2020)

Appendix 3 – Keller’s Brand Resonance Model of Gordon’s

(Keller and Swaminathan, 2019)

Appendix 4 – Gordon’s Brand Portfolio with Moments added

6. Reference List

Atomik Research (2018), Research reveals gin and vodka the most popular drink of 2018. Available from:

Research reveals Gin and Vodka the most popular drink of 2018

[Accessed 20th November 2020]

Bottomley, P. A. and Doyle, J. R. (2006), The interactive effects of colors and products on perceptions of brand logo appropriateness, Marketing Theory, 6(1), pp. 63–83. Available from:

[Accessed 1st December 2020]

Carruthers, N. (2019), Top 10 award-winning spirits bottle designs. Available from:

Top 10 award-winning spirits bottle designs

[Accessed 7th December 2020]

Carruthers, N. (2020), Top Seven Best-Selling Gin Brands. Available from:

Top seven best-selling gin brands

[Accessed 16th November 2020]

Diageo (2020), Gordon’s. Available form:

[Accessed 18th November 2020]

Drinkaware (2019), Alcohol Consumption UK | Drinkaware. Available at:

[Accessed 21st November 2020]

Funk, D. and Oly Ndubisi, N. (2006), Colour and product choice: a study of gender roles, Management Research News, 29 (1/2), pp. 41-52. Available from:

[Accessed 1st December 2020]

Gordon’s (2020), Gordon’s. Available from:

[Accessed 17th November 2020]

Keller, K. L., & Swaminathan, V. (2019), Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity. 5th ed., Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited. Available from:

[Accessed 19th November 2020]

Labrecque, L. and Milne, G. (2012), Exciting red and competent blue: the importance of color in marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40(5), pp. 711–727. Available from:

[Accessed 1st December 2020]

Lawes, R. (2008), Colour with confidence, Brand Strategy, (220), pp. 46–47. Available from:

[Accessed 1st December 2020] (2019) Why Your Favorite Booze Bottles Are Shaped the Way They Are. And Why You Should Care. Available from:

[Accessed 7th December 2020]

Marketing Week (2002), Superbrand case studies: Gordon’s. Available from:

[Accessed 25th November 2020]

Mintel (2020), White Spirits and RTDs – UK – January 2020. Available from:

[Accessed 18th November 2020]

Olesen, J (2020), Gold Color Meaning – The Color Gold Symbolizes Wealth and Success. Available from:

[Accesesd 7th December 2020]

Passport (2020), Spirits in the United Kingdom. Available from:

[Accessed 20th November 2020]

WARC (2019), Gordon’s Gin. Available from:

[Accessed 25th November 2020]

YouTube (2020), Gordon’s Gin. Available from:

[Accessed 30th November 2020]


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